Liberalism and enlightenment in eighteenth‐century Germany

Critical Review 13 (1-2):31-53 (1999)
Abstract The eighteenth?century controversy among Moses Mendelssohn, Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, and Immanuel Kant undermines the tendency to equate liberalism with the Enlightenment. While the defender of the Enlightenment, Mendelssohn, championed defended such traditional liberal values as religious toleration, his arguments were often illiberal. In contrast, many of the views of his anti? Establishment opponent, Jacobi, are remarkably liberal. Kant's essays from the mid?i78os advanced a liberal conception of politics but a view of Enlightenment that was quite distant from those of both Mendelssohn and Jacobi.
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